The news regarding the murder of a 22-year-old youth in Bengaluru’s JJ Nagar police station limit has been at the centre of much misinformation on social media with several people giving the incident a communal colour. A TV report by Kasthuri News 24, a Kannada news channel, carried an item on the tragedy, but with a communal claim- that the youth was killed for not speaking in Urdu. And the one who gave it a stamp of legitimacy was none other than the Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra, who said as much, and identified the victim as a dalit. The news item was also picked up by popular right-oriented platform OpIndia, whose tweet on the story was widely shared.
Twitter users shared the link and expressed outrage over the murder of a Hindu youth by Muslim men for not speaking Urdu. Only, that wasn’t the case. Newschecker has found that the youth was neither a Hindu nor was the murder due to his lack of proficiency in Urdu.
The news item was broadcasted in Kannada channel Kasthuri News 24, which was formed by Anitha Kumaraswamy, former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy’s wife. The news item, presented in Kannada with a lot of communal terminologies, identifies the victim as a Hindu, and makes the claim that he was killed for not speaking in Urdu.
Another vernacular website, Public TV, published an article that carried the news item that the state Home Minister ascribed the murder to the victim’s inability to converse in Urdu. ‘Chandru murder for not speaking Urdu: Araga’ the article reads.
Several users on social media platforms also shared links to the article expressing outrage that a youth had been killed for not speaking Urdu.
In order to verify if the 22-year-old was indeed killed for not speaking Urdu, Newschecker first decided to research the story online. We found very few articles, one of which was a Deccan Herald report on the same story. According to the report, Chandru and his friends were returning after celebrating his friend’s birthday, when “Chandru’s bike brushed with the scooter rode by a person named Shahid Pasha (21) from Old Guddadahalli”. The article further mentions that Pasha, summoned two of his friends and a heated argument ensued, when he unsheathed a knife and stabbed Chandru in the thigh, following which Chandru succumbed to his injuries in the hospital.
On more research, we found a tweet by the Kamal Pant IPS, the commissioner of Bangalore, who tweeted clarifying that the victim was not a Hindu as was being claimed, but Christian by religion. He further narrated the same information as was published by Deccan Herald.
To find out more about the incident, Newschecker reached out to the police Inspector of JJ Nagar police station, Manjunath, who clarified that the the assertion that the 22-year-old was killed for not speaking Urdu is false. “This information is completely untrue. There was a bike accident following which there was an argument. Things heated up and one Shahid took out his knife and stabbed the victim, Chandru, who later succumbed to his injuries.” When asked about the Home minister’s claim on the motive of the murder, he said, “The Home Minister made the remarks earlier, but after we submitted a report, he has clarified on his comments and changed his version.”
Newschecker found another piece on the Deccan Herald which pointed out this change of stance on the part of the Home Minister, and added that he had also been slammed by Oppn leader and Ex-CM Siddaramaiah for the same.
Karnataka Home Minister made a wrong claim that a 22-year-old was killed for not speaking Urdu in Bengaluru. The crime took place over an argument that turned awry after a bike accident.
Result: False context/False
Social media posts
Conversation with PI of JJ Nagar police station
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